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Nov 2, 2012

An Heiress At Heart by Jennifer Delamere

An unexpected pleasurable Victorian romance!
An Heiress At Heart by Jennifer Delamere
Forever Hachette Books October 30, 2012
Paperback 432 pages
Review copy provided via the author for review for the Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers website
Burton Book Review Rating: 4 stars

A New BeginningA youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she’s finally returning home, but she’s still living a secret life. Her best friend, Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville’s world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he’s invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother’s young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her façade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?

The premise of impersonating another person in An Heiress at Heart was intriguing, and it was superbly handled in the storytelling. Where lots of events and questionable traits of one person versus another would cause issues with a believable storyline, it was worked in beautifully in the novel. Lizzie was impersonating an already deceased Ria in order to discover Lizzie's heritage, and she managed to fool almost everyone. Of course, she falls in love with Ria's brother-in-law, which was a taboo thing to do in Victorian England.

The villain Freddie Hightower was really a fabulous character despite his wicked ways, and he put me on edge whenever he was in the picture. And even though Lizzie was deceiving the Thornborough family, we could easily forgive her as she really did belong there and cared for the family very much.

The time period was also portrayed thoroughly with historic details, loaded with a great mix of characters that this love story - sprinkled with a bit of suspense - was a pleasant surprise. There were many tiny threads throughout this story that put together this intriguing quilt of a novel, and I don't want to give off any plot spoilers by exposing those colorful threads. The only teeny complaint I had was that I had wished it moved along a bit faster. The one major clue that Lizzie was supposed to be looking for was not looked for until three quarters of the way through the novel.

There were Christian/biblical references throughout the novel as Lizzie and Geoffrey struggled with their forbidden love for each other and as they questioned their own actions. It was a very sweet love affair which makes this read absolutely perfect for lovers of the Regency or Victorian eras, as well as readers who enjoy Christian historical romances.
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